PORTHCRESSA BEACH - THE GARRISON - OLD TOWN CHURCHYARD - OLD TOWN BEACH - LOWER MOORS - LONGSTONE CAFE - HIGHER MOORS - PORTH HELLICK - HUGH TOWN
WEATHER; Changeable and quite windy. Sunny spells in the morning, showers in the afternoon.
A very windy day of mixed fortune, according to the apps. on a number of phones we walked 19,500 steps, 12.5 km's and we were tired by the end of the day.
We started at Porthcressa Beach where a few 'alba' Wagtails we flitting about with Rock Pipits and a single Black-headed Gull sat in the water. We then walked up to the Garrison and staright to Morning Point where we got blasted by the wind. A BLUE ROCK THRUSH had been frequenting the area around Morning Point for nearly a week and it had been seen this morning already so we were optimistic.
looking from Morning Point on the Garrison towards Seval Point showing the 'Doctor's Keys' rock formation
We found Northern Wheatear, Whimbrel more Rock Pipits, Common Stonechat and the sea was busy with Gannets, Shags and Great Black-backed gulls but there was no sign of the THRUSH. We searched for an hour and then walked to Seval Point, passing another favoured area of the THRUSH whIch was a rock formation called The 'Doctor's Keys'. We saw more Northern Wheatears but that was all.
at Morning Point with Hugh Town in the background
Our walk took us around the complete circumference of the Garrison and we ended up back in Hugh Town where we sat and had a coffee and a cake! Next we walked over the Old Town and afer a quick visit to the Churchyard we found ourselves looking into an open meadow near Old Town Beach watching a RED-BACKED SHRIKE. This bird showed very well and was a small consolation for missing the Thrush.
coffee and cake at 11.
Walking onto to Lower Moors we sat in the Bird Hide and ate our picnic lunch, most of us had bought one of the delicious Cornish Pasties in town, yum, yum. There were no birds whatsoever at the Lower Moors pool because work-people were fixing fences. We walked the entire length of the trail to Telegraph road. Whilst stopping to look at a Peacock Butterfly on some ivy we found a Pied Flycatcher and then a Garden Warbler appeared briefly.
two pics of the Red-backed Shrike
At the end of the track we had news that the RUSTIC BUNTING, which we 'dipped' on yesterday, was again showing so we walked up to Longstone Cafe to look for it. To our great delight the bird was there and showing well, a lifer for most of the group, RUSTIC BUNTING is a very rare visitor to Scilly and is way off course, it usually breeds in Russia and right across to Asia.
the RUSTIC BUNTING hunkered down in the grass to keep out of the wind
As the Longstone Cafe was open we popped in for another coffee and cake before walking down to Higher Moors for our second visit of the trip. The water level on the moor was much higher and there is no place for snipe to feed so we never saw Common or Jack Snipe much to the diappointmnet of four of the group who missed them both yesterday because of their flight delay.
Greenshank at PORTH HELLICK pool
We did see Greenshank, Mallard, Teal, Grey Heron and a walk to the Porth Hellick Beach produced Common Ringed Plover, Linnets, Northern Wheatear, Ruddy Turnstone and Curlew.
It was now 4:30pm and still windy so we decided to walk back to town whioch took an hour, we had time to get ready for dinner which is served at 6:30pm!! It was a lovely home cooked meal, washed down with a cold beer or a glass of wine.